Two respected political authorities will discuss political polarization and the impact it will have on upcoming elections during a lecture Thursday, Sept. 30, at Emory & Henry.
The discussion, which is the Fall 2010 Bays Blackwell Lecture, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Board of Visitors Lounge of the E&H Van Dyke Center.
Jonathan Weiler of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Marc Hetherington of Vanderbilt University will speak about "Democracy, Distrust, and the Elections of 2010."
Weiler and Hetherington are widely recognized for their work on partisanship and polarization in the United States, and their most recent book - Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics ) - has been credited with anticipating the rise of the Tea Party movement as well as the increase in hostile rhetoric.
Their argument that the deepening divisions between Republicans and Democrats are the result of fundamental cultural forces has been widely cited in editorials from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal.
Hetherington is one of the most widely published academics on American voting behavior. He taught at the University of Virginia and Bowdoin College before coming to Vanderbilt, and he has served as a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.
Weiler is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the International Studies Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He taught at Bowdoin College before moving to the University of North Carolina.
The two professors will be discussing how their work helps explain the state of the political parties in 2010, predict the likely outcomes of the 2010 elections, and glimpse the shape of American politics in 2012 and beyond.